Blue Meditation

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I’ve been in the hospital for about five days now. I’ve been here assisting with decision-making, supporting family members and generating laughter into a sometimes stressful situation.

I am now very familiar with this hospital. I know where all of the coffee stations are, the bathrooms are, and where the cell-service hot spots are.

I have been walking the same route every day; down one hall, over to the next hall, down two flights of stairs and back up. I walk it several times a day.

Yesterday, for some reason, I chose to walk a different path. Not sure of where I was, I glanced over to my right and saw a sign that read, “Meditation Room”.

Trying to be discrete, I quietly peered into the room. I looked around at the cobalt and aqua blue glass. The pieces were crafted into intricate patterns. It was breathtaking. The other wall was made of neutral shades of stone and wood. Below the stone stood a peaceful bird, boldly standing on a rock.                                                                                         FullSizeRender-24

As I sat I became aware of the sound of calming waters being piped into the room. It sounded like a babbling brook cascading over the rocks. I closed my eyes, and I pictured myself standing alongside the bird. Calmness and tranquility flowed through my body. I became unaware that my outside world was a bone-chilling, wind-gusting below-zero-day. I had also forgotten as to why I was there.I stayed in the present moment for much more than a moment. I didn’t allow my mind to wander to the numerous questions I had no answers to. I didn’t worry about my relationships, my career path or my broken heart. I didn’t worry about my health or the health of others.  I stayed in the NOW.

I think everyone should invest in the practice of daily meditation time. If I were able to design my own home, I would construct a  small meditation nook.

As Christians I ask, are we supposed to stay in the now? Are we supposed to meditate? Some say that meditation is not the right thing to do; meaning you are not supposed to rid your mind of your blessings or your thoughts of the heavenly Father.

Some Christians state that when we meditate, we are creating empty space and with that we may be allowing Demons to enter; Demons like empty spaces because they’re easier to fill. And…is meditating the same as worshiping a false god? I don’t think as Christians we should be that dogmatic on the subject. There are indeed gray areas and ultimately, the question of meditation is one that you will have to decide and only decide between you and God.

The benefactors of meditation are good.

  • Meditation helps us not to worry about what is going to happen tomorrow. Scripture also instructs us not to worry about tomorrow…(Matthew 6:34)
  • Meditation helps us to keep our body and mind well. Scripture instructs us to keep our bodies as a holy temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • Meditation helps us to stay positive. Scripture tells us to be positive. (Proverbs 17:22)
  • Meditation helps us remain cheerful. Scripture instructs us on how to be cheerful.(Ecclesiastes 3:12)
  • Meditation helps us be a better whole person. Scripture instructs us on how to be a whole person. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Meditation helps us to remember our blessings. Scripture instructs us to count our blessings. (Psalm 118:1-18)

In my opinion, my kind of meditation is good. It allows me to be positive, keep cheerful, focus on being a better whole person and more importantly it helps me to place uncontrollable situations into their proper place. When I settle myself down to meditate, I am able to re-count all of my blessings.

What do you think about meditation?

Where are your thoughts?

Do you meditate and if so, how?

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Enough is Enough!

When is it Enough?
As I think about the word enough, I ponder the significance of it in my life. Enough…What do I think about that word? What do you think about when you say enough? Who determines when it’s enough?

I’m fed up! I’ve devoted enough time towards some relationships and circumstances in my life. I’ve devoted enough time to…Well, I really don’t know if I have, come to think about it. Do I have that control? Do we have that control to decided when enough is enough?

Enough… I can’t stop exercising. I can’t stop my spiritual practices. I can’t stop loving my children and family, church and community. I can’t stop protecting the earth nor stop obeying the law.

Enough… I can say enough when something is not acceptable. I can say enough when you’re hurting me! I can say enough to your rules and religion.

When its time for me to walk away from a situation, I now walk away from it. Even if the situation is via phone call, texting or other social media. That’s when I shut down and allow my mind, my body, and my conscience to feel okay with enough!

I think about the obedient man, named Moses. He led the Israelites to the Promise Land. Do you think he ever said enough is enough God? I know the Israelites did! How many times did they not believe that there was even a Promise Land? Moses willingly gave up a luxurious life as a price to live among his own people as a slave (Hebrews 11:24-25) to encourage them. But he knew that their afflictions were not enough.

Moses spoke to the people all that God had given him to speak. The people needed to be reminded of their conduct that led them to their tedious wanderings and strengthened their obedience. He had not said enough yet! We too are brought through many situations in order to understand the advantages of obedience.

God eventually said enough though! The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.” Deuteronomy 1:6

God tells us when to stay and endure and when to say enough and move on. The problem is that we often don’t know if we are saying enough or if God is.

beth new pic     My God knows when I’ve had enough! He knows when I need encouragement and strength. He knows when I am struggling with some self-esteem issues or battling with some depression. He shows me when I can move on.

So when we sit down and reflect on the word enough, reactivate your meditation time. Think about what you’ve had enough of. Throughout life it is necessary, from time to time, to stand back, become silent and redefine, reevaluate, and experiment, over and over again, with what we know or what we think we know. It is only then that we will know when we’ve had enough.

I was in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: I Will not Rewind.

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How do we know if we’re in the right place or wrong place? How do we know if the place where we are, right at this very moment, is in the proper timing?

Think about these sayings:

1) Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
2) Being in the wrong place at the right time
3) Being in the right place at the right time
4) Being in the right place at the wrong time

I have found myself to be in all four of these circumstances during various stages of my life. I’ve met people just at the right time and have been in places just at the right time.   I’ve also met people at the wrong time in life and have been in places where I should never have been.

  • The wrong place at the wrong time could be like being somewhere you should not have been and the timing was all wrong.
  • The wrong place at the right time could mean you just got lost and yet you got lucky.
  • Being in the right place at the right time could possibly be the perfect harmony between our intent and the outcome.
  • Being in the right place at the wrong time could mean that you were following directions properly but possibly landed in disaster.

Hebrews 11:4-38, known as the Faith Hall of Fame, shows us many examples of people being in any one of these scenarios. Able, Enoch, Moses, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Rahab, Joseph and many more were trying to be in the venue of God’s choosing. They were afflicted and yet endured. And, through all of it, they were placed exactly where they were called to be; the dwelling of God’s choice.

Sometimes we get a little lost along the way and find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time but by the grace of God, we are removed from that spot and planted into the locality of God’s choosing.

How do we know if our current premises is right or wrong? All we have to do is have a little faith, faith of a mustard seed (Luke 17:6) knowing we’re under God’s guidance and love.

I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I won’t rewind. I will have faith moving forward knowing that I am getting closer to being at the right place during the right time; in perfect harmony.ID-100227891

How about you? Where are you right now? Are you in the right place at the right time? If so, how did you get there? Please share. If not, how do you think you can make changes in order to be there? Let’s talk about this today and tomorrow as I am the host on Livingbygrace.livingbygracepic.jp

Can’t Buy Me Love

Valentine’s Day will be very different for me this year. For those of you who are married, think about these questions Jennifer asks. Is it all about you?

Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud

ID-100122426 Photo by David Castillo Dominici taken from freedigitalphotos.net

This Valentine’s Day, do you find yourself pouting, fuming, frowning, maybe stomping around a bit? Or have you begun to place catalogs strategically throughout the house… opened to a particular page… with a certain necklace or bracelet circled in red?

Because it’s all about us, right??? It’s all about what makes us happy, what we desire… what we DESERVE!

Or is it? Today author Karen Jurgens challenges our thinking, encouraging us to go deeper.

 Can’t Buy Me Love

By Karen Jurgens

Love. The pink hearts and red roses on Valentine’s Day come around each year to remind us. Isn’t finding love and happiness one of our ultimate quests in life?

Valentine heartWe’re born into it. Oozing love, parents lavish hopes and dreams on their precious newborn sons and daughters. The kind of love that is strong enough for a lifetime.

So how does that…

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My Window Time…Beth Farley

Are you hanging out with God lately and if so, how? How do you spend time with Him?

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 People would say that I’m crazy because every night since the beginning of January, I have been opening up my window for just a little bit before closing my eyes.

Before dozing off, I lay on my stomach on the bed I occupy, put my chin up to the artistic window sill and inhale some deep cleansing breaths. The arctic cold air gently blows onto my face. I can hear the needles of the pine trees swish in the frigid night breeze as I inhale some deep breaths. I watch the snow falling onto the roof or when we have clear nights I gaze at the stars twinkling above. As I ritually lay there with my little dog, I am in total peace and surrender. I thank God for the day I’ve just been blessed with and ask for the continued peace and strength to tackle what might lie ahead.

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My window time allows me the time to think about my wishes. It reminds me that if I run after something that is meant for me, it will be there because God has already placed it there for me to have. It reminds me to take peaceful happy steps towards my existence, and not arrive anywhere I’m not supposed to be.

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My window time reminds me that it is impossible for me to be doing what I am doing today, right at this very minute without God. I can easily become a huge mess without Him and to be honest, I NOW can’t wait to  spend time with him at the window.

I have been trying to sit with God for many months now and I have missed so many appointments with Him. The ones that I’ve attended in surrender, have been good, but lately it’s been rather difficult for me to settle myself down…

UNTIL MY WINDOW TIME!!!

Why has it taken me so long to find this tender spot with Him? Why has it taken me so long to want to visit with Him? These are the questions I will ask Him when we meet again, tonight at during OUR window time.

1 Kings 6:4 NASB Also for the house he made windows with artistic frames.

My Sloppy Soul…Beth Farley

If we were to have a lot of money in the bank, have a beautiful home and a couple of pricy vehicles in our driveway; we still might be suffering inside.

Investing in an intimate ongoing relationship with God helps balance us. I find it very important and necessary in my life. I can’t function without my relationship with my God. Its mine, not the churches, not my brothers, not my friends’…It’s all mine.

And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” 1Kings 8:61

Here are just a few of the people from the Bible that had to have spent much time with their God, in order to function in His will

Nehemiah was a man who silenced the Nay Sayers and did what they said he couldn’t do.
Then I replied to them, The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:20

Job was a man whose life and resolve was tested beyond imagination, yet did not curse God.
In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Job 1:22
Joseph was a man who was completely devoted to the Lord even in times of injustice, betrayal, and temptation.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20
There is a refreshing, healing element of a Godly relationship. He guides us and loves us unconditionally. We need the support and love of God in order to love and support others the way He asks us.

With the recent changes in the dynamics of my own life, I have found it to be more necessary to take time out of my day to be still before Him. I need that time to nurture my sloppy soul.

Invest in order to be transformed. Surrender in order to be transformed. Listen in order to be transformed and pray to be transformed.

Becoming Aware of Our Shame…Beth Farley

Shame can be a powerful emotion. We have all felt ashamed of ourselves or even someone we love. Shame can cause dysfunction in our relationships.ID-10054806

What is shame? Shame is an authentic, legitimate felling of guilt; either we have said something wrong or done something wrong. But shame is not a no-win situation if we acknowledge it, surrender to it and make positive changes.

Acts 8:22 tells us: Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. Shame is not a sin but if we allow the emotion of shame to overtake us we will not receive God’s best for us.

What are the things that can cause us to feel shame?

We may feel ashamed when we have a problem.

We may feel ashamed when we make a mistake or we succeed.

We may feel ashamed about certain feelings or thoughts.

We may feel ashamed when we have fun, feel good, or are vulnerable enough to show ourselves to other.

When I am engaged in an unhealthy relationship, sometimes I feel ashamed just for being me. Is that God’s best? No!

Do we put shame on ourselves or do we allow others to put the shame on us? It can be both ways. I’ve felt shame when others have put me down and I’ve put shame on myself when I was unable to accept Gods cleansing forgiveness.

Learning to reject shame can change the quality of our life. It’s okay to be who we are in Christ.
We are good enough. Our feelings are good enough and they are feelings that do NOT have to control us. It’s okay to have problems and not be perfect; that’s whey we have Jesus.

Every day we have 24 brand new hours to wake up and accept what a precious gift we are and what a precious gift we can be if we let go of the shame of past mistakes.
Micah 7:19 ESV…He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Is there some shame that you might be hanging onto? Allow God to cast it into the sea.